Hexham Bridge

Hexham Bridge is a road bridge in Northumberland, England linking Hexham with the North Tyne valley. It lies north of the town of Hexham and is the main access to the A69 bypass.

Hexham Bridge
Tyne Bridge, Hexham (east side) - geograph.org.uk - 818721.jpg
Hexham Bridge
Coordinates54°58′36″N 2°05′39″W / 54.9767°N 2.0942°W / 54.9767; -2.0942Coordinates: 54°58′36″N 2°05′39″W / 54.9767°N 2.0942°W / 54.9767; -2.0942
OS grid referenceNY940646
Carries
CrossesRiver Tyne
LocaleNorthumberland
Heritage statusGrade II* listed[1]
Preceded byConstantius Bridge
Followed byCorbridge Bridge
Characteristics
DesignArch bridge
MaterialStone
No. of lanes2
History
DesignerRobert Mylne
Construction end1793[2]
ReplacesHexham Old Bridge
Hexham Bridge is located in Northumberland
Hexham Bridge
Hexham Bridge
Location in Northumberland

HistoryEdit

The Tyne was crossed by two ferries called the east and the west boats (Warden Bridge). As a result of persistent agitation, a bridge was started in 1767 and completed in 1770. It was built by Mr Galt and consisted of seven arches. Less than a year later it was swept away in the great Tyne flood of 1771. In that flood, eight bridges shared the fate of Hexham. In 1774 a new attempt was made 50 yards (46 m) to the west by Mr Wooler, an engineer who had been working on the new Newcastle bridge. Piles were sunk to carry the piers but work was abandoned on discovering that the "soil beneath the gravel was a quicksand with no more resistance than chaff".[3] This first bridge, Hexham Old Bridge, was about 1 mile (2 km) upstream of the present bridge.

The authorities next approached John Smeaton, whose name as an engineer was famous. Henry Errington of Sandhoe was given the contract for the sum of £4,700,[4] and work started in 1777. Although the half-completed piers were washed away the following year, work continued and the new bridge was opened to traffic in 1780 [others[2] give 1781]. However, on 10 March 1782, there was a heavy fall of snow followed by a violent hurricane. The valleys of the north and south Tyne were inundated and the nine arches were completely overturned. They are still visible and act as a sort of weir. Robert Mylne, a famous architect and engineer, was called in to report on the feasibility of rebuilding Smeaton's bridge. He was eventually given the contract to build a fourth bridge, and the work was completed in 1793.[3]

It is listed as a Grade II* building by Historic England.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Hexham Bridge  (Grade II*) (1042629)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Hexham Bridge". Bridges on the Tyne. Retrieved 4 July 2008.
  3. ^ a b Graham, Frank (1992). Hexham and Corbridge A Short History and Guide. Thropton: Butler Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 0-946928-19-3.
  4. ^ Northumberland Archives: Hexham Bridge Papers SANT/BEQ/1/4/1


Next bridge upstream River Tyne Next bridge downstream
Border Counties Bridge
Ruined, formerly Border Counties Railway 
Hexham Bridge
Grid reference: NY940646
Corbridge Bridge
 B6321 
Next road bridge upstream River Tyne Next road bridge downstream
Constantius Bridge
 A69  
Hexham Bridge
Grid reference: NY940646
Corbridge Bridge
 B6321